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Eat More Fish

Posted on 06/26/2014

Eating more fish should be the goal of everyone for its numerous health benefits including cardiovascular health, but it turns out it is even more important for pregnant women, nursing mothers and children who are lacking in this area of their diets.

According to recent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advice: they simply need to eat more fish. The FDA recommends these group of people – pregnant women, nursing mothers and children -- should eat a minimum of two servings of low-mercury seafood each week for their health. They recommend a weekly limit of 12 ounces, or about three servings, of such low-mercury seafood for women such as: salmon, shrimp, cod, tilapia and light canned tuna. Children’s recommendations are based on age and weight, with a general guidance of two servings of low-mercury seafood per week.

Why is fish so important and why do these people need more of it in their diets?

It’s been shown that pregnant women and nursing mothers who consume fish have children with higher I.Q.s and better cognitive and behavioral development than children born to women who do not eat fish regularly.

And, it turns out that only one in five pregnant women in the U.S. currently eat little or no fish at all according to the FDA. So, it is obvious that they need more of this lean, healthy protein in their diets.

Well, it seems these groups are behind other groups in their consumption of fish and as you know, fish is a healthy, lean source of protein. It also has omega3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients making it great “brain food” for little ones too.

Years ago when health and nutrition experts recommended people should consume two servings of fish per week, we reworked our menu making fish available to our clients of our traditional meal plan twice per week.

I know, for us, it may be easier said then done with nutrition experts available to us. But, it can be easy for you too, if you look at the big picture and not just meals individually. Look at the week and plan it out, it makes it much simpler to do then. You can also give our traditional meals a try for a week or two, to give you some ideas of how to incorporate fish into your diet or even how to prepare fish!

Sometimes we hear people say, “Well, I don’t like fish.” It could be that you think you don’t like it, because of how it was prepared. Fish prepared properly and not overcooked, like how we do it at SSHE, with delicious seasoning and flavorful herbs is so tasty. I can’t imagine not having it as part of my regular diet. Go ahead, give it a try again….your body will thank you for doing so.

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On related news, according to a new study mothers’ pre-pregnancy weight impacts the child’s birth weight and later weight in life. So, if you are thinking about becoming pregnant, it is a good idea to be at a healthy starting weight rather than overweight to ensure your baby is not a heavy baby. Heavier babies have been shown to have a lifetime of health issues, including developing type II diabetes and are more prone to obesity later in life.

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Seattle Sutton, BSN, RN

She made healthy eating her mission in life long before anyone else did, in hopes of helping her own obese father. A registered nurse by training and entrepreneur at heart, she lives, eats and breathes everything about healthy eating and helping to improve people’s eating habits and overall health. She enjoys never having to bother with grocery shopping, cooking and counting calories. Her favorite SSHE meal, although it’s hard to pick just one, is the Potato Gnocchi with Basil Pesto Sauce.

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